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Genesis 25:29-34, Esau Sells His Birthright


Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

Jacob was quite a trickster. Even before his more famous stealing of Esau's blessing from the ailing father, Jacob was well on his way to cheating his brother out of as much as he could. In this instance, Jacob saw an opportunity when Esau came in from the field literally starving to death. Jacob used his leverage to trick Esau out of his birthright (inheritance). It was a nasty trick, and it brought nothing but bitterness into their relationship.

I'll be honest -- I don't really know what to say about this. It goes against every fiber of my being to con a person out of anything. I do not believe in suing people over stupid stuff just to make a buck. I don't believe in climbing the corporate ladder by stepping on the heads of other people. I am a collaborator, not a competitor. Maybe it was necessary in Jacob's day to compete in order to survive. I just don't know. Maybe Jacob was just plain wrong to do what he did. The good news, that we will find out later, is that God continues to use flawed people to carry out God's work in the world. It gives me hope that God can use someone as flawed as me to do great things. 

Narrative Lectionary Text: Genesis 25:29-34

Once when Jacob was cooking a stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was famished. Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stuff, for I am famished!” (Therefore he was called Edom.) Jacob said, “First sell me your birthright.” Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank, and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

Earlier Event: September 21
Genesis 25:19-28, The Birth of Esau and Jacob
Later Event: September 23
Genesis 26:1-33, Isaac and Abimelech